News: Friday Night Rugby at Saints?
February 3 2017
COYSDC messageboard contributor, Gwendoline, argues the case for and against Friday Night Rugby. Is it something the supporters really want?
FRIDAY NIGHT RUGBY?
My Granny always served fish on Friday. It was a sort of Scottish religious thing I suppose. So Fridays have always had a bit of a question mark over them which may be colouring what I am about to say.
We are all keen supporters most of us have season tickets which we have held for years.
But this year is different.
When we set off down the supporters' road life was predictable. A pint in the Malt shovel walk to the ground -one more and only one more- then settle down and cheer on the lads. Who more often than not did OK. Then go back to our village arriving at around six pm for the post mortem in the pub. Usually discussing the relative merits of different number tens.
Rugby was played at three PM on a Saturday. It worked. It gave us time to get to away games and get home usually before the pubs shut.
But Rugby is now played on Friday nights. Starting around 8.00pm. So this means you cannot go to see your mates in the pub on Friday in the village- which is traditional- nor can you get home much before ten. Nor can you have a decent dinner before you go. And it makes supporting at away fixtures hugely more difficult too.
Now we understand that TV determines these times. And TV pays lots of money . BUT real supporters are human-they have alternative pressures in their lives.
So for the first time this season I have found myself saying on a cold Friday night to my wife - "Do you want to go luv?" And the answer this season sometimes has come- "not much really Id rather watch it on TV on this wet cold night".
There was a time when going was paramount. And we put up with the occasional Friday as part of that. But now its reached such a level of frequency when we may not renew. And we really do not want to do this. We have two super seats which we could never replace. But Fridays are killing this for us.
There will be those who will think us fairweather supporters-which would be harsh after twenty odd years of season ticket renewal and our travelling support at away fixtures in the UK and Europe.
But I sort of feel this isn't what we signed up to. Week after week of Friday night fixtures.
Please tell us to be stronger and renew our season tickets.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:02:03:21:10:31 by Phil..
I've had this general uneasiness and dissatisfaction about these Friday fixtures for some time.
This is after attending matches since the mid eighties and sitting amongst some very agreeable people whose company I look forward to.
It just seems to screw up the whole weekend somehow, for all the reasons you mention.
I don't think anyone will listen though.
Tonight's weather forecast is a stinker and it's on the telly - so why not watch on the telly!
the odd Friday night can feel special, but it's become ridiculous. anyone working through normal office hours has a job and a half getting to the match.
shall be watching (recorded) tv - after the pub!
Whilst I readily concede that there are many supporters older than I thankfully still renewing their season tickets, I've really struggled with the cold winter nights for the last two seasons, with the result that sitting out in the cold means my joints grumble and on occasions I've had some difficulty exiting the stands and the walk to the car has been shall we say, challenging.
I'm the last person to moan about the tv companies dictating the timings of games as I acknowledge that their money has done wonders for rugby, plus there is also the often overlooked little fact that we also get to see some away matches because of their involvement, but my reasoning in giving up my season ticket was purely because of the sheer volume of our home games which are shunted to a night kick off. "Why always us" we could say. Can anyone remember Saracens kicking off on a Friday or Saturday night for a home game?
I think last year with the number of winter night games it meant that I saw less than half of our matches and that just made the price per game exorbitant. If there was some semblance of a more even sharing of the kick offs then I would undoubtedly reconsider my position as I do miss live rugby, but my gut feeling this year is that it is worse rather than better, so whilst I have bought a couple of afternoon tickets, I'm not anticipating a season ticket for the foreseeable future.
A very sad decision for me, and clearly also many others on here are of a similar mind, and I doubt anything will change as the Club always say it's nothing to do with them.
That's so sad to hear. If it's nothing to do with them that established loyal fans are giving up their seats, then maybe that is an indictment on the club if the fans are no longer that important. Did it pass unnoticed that at the last home European game there was a significant number of season ticket holders seats empty? Are these STH's who are already on their way to not renewing next year?
I know many others think likewise and despite the
I forecast a massive collapse of ST sales next year.
Like many, I am fed up of having to wait for games 'tba' especially Euro matches. Travel costs are higher etc etc
Like you I am happy for the money TV generates but how much longer will that carry on for? I think back to ITV 'money' which nearly finished a number of football clubs e.g. Watford
Not doing too bad tonight though (at half time)
Personally I don't mind Fridays but not all the time.
Recently retired myself, I can get to any home games after decades of struggling to juggle work and play. My eldest son however simply cannot get to friday games and as such his ticket is unlikely to be renewed next season. Allan Robson frequently whitters on about Saints wide supporter base but it has to be the case that the eight thousand season ticket holders who apparently live in Buckinghamshire must be pulling their hair out struggling with friday night traffic on the M1/A5.
Its a mess, these games are not fairly distributed and whilst the occasional friday nighter can produce a memorable occasion - Munster and Tiggers semi-final come to mind - too many others are just a pain in the proverbial for many people, conceeding as I do that for some, fridays are useful as the weekend is then left open for other activities.
I am still looking for the clause in my life contract that says all should be fair..........doh !
Well can't be that bad since the crowd was announced as over 13000 at the gardens tonight!!!!!!!!!!! Just who are they kidding, they are lucky if there was 8500 there tonight because of a number of factors including belief we won't qualify, international weekend and Scarlett putting out a second string team which on paper was never going to win that one.
Personally I don't mind Fridays but not all the time.
Geoff was careful with his wording last night. He said "just over 13000 tickets sold" which clearly did not equate with attendance. Like many, I used to enjoy the occasional evening game giving a different atmosphere but with the number these days it's becoming tedious. I have no personal problems with accessing Friday evenings but I must say that now I look forward to Saturday afternoon games with a real relish. With the Six Nations this weekend, a Friday choice was sensible.
Sad times indeed..
Bridesmaids no more.
What I don't like is Saints being forced to play a disproportionate number of them when they are clearly hurting the support base, attendance & ticket income
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:02:05:09:36:27 by MarchingIn.
This is not a fair distribution of fixtures and 4 of the do not share their ground. Unless the club wants Friday games (in which case I will not renew my season ticket) it is time the club refused friday games. I know the club say they have no choice but when other clubs are playing no games on friday that cannot be right. There are 11 home games (per club a season) so every club should have 1 except for Sarries who are allowed to have their own way in every thing!
Its a bit of a rush to get to living over 30 miles away and finishing work at 5. but we still love it.
playing Friday is a great start to the weekend after a weeks work and frees up Saturday to spend with the rest of my family.
Now we do hate Sunday games as the knowing of work next day puts an edge on it.
I have often wondered how many of the Friday night haters ,work or live in Northampton.
And as for moaning about the odd MK game if you are a fan you would go (even if you disagree with MK games) ,if you are a follower stay at home and moan.
But hay we are all entitled to our options ,we just need to progress with the sport as it grows.
1. Most of the friday night games have completely vanished from my memory. The ones I do remember, Wasps in the fog, Munster and Geraghty, Tiggers in the semi-final, were big games and Saints victories. Maybe, the clubs should insist upon fair distribution of games that do not take place on saturday afternoons and have more say in choosing what games will take place on those days. A game against Exeter or Newcastle on a friday, home or away, is going to be dificult for many fans one way or another.
2. Why cannot Christmas and New Year games be local derbies wherever possible ?
Saint 1969: Regular readers will know of my long held view that Saints should not be playing at MK. I understand the arguments either way but for me it is a matter of principle, simple as that.
I do however go to the games at MK because, as you say, I am a fan not a follower. I remain unconvinced that this years extravganza on Easter Sunday ( ggrrrrrr ) will be a rip roaring success bearing in mind the daily plugs on Facebook to try and increase ticket sales. Nontheless, I will be there pretending that we have not given up home advantage !
Have Saints supporters ever been given the chance to choose when games are played?
On 3 or 4 occasions in the past Newcastle sought the views of their ST holders. As you're probably aware this lead to a bit of a mix albeit predominantly split between Friday nights and Sunday's
Personally, I far prefer Fridays . I nearly always finished work by 7.45 so it was really easy to go straight to the ground(I live a 40 mile round trip away -in the wrong direction!) Fridays also left the whole weekend free for other family activities so it got great support from she who must be obeyed.
Having said that ,I do appreciate the need to maximise support and Sundays seem to be essential to attract young families